Publisher’s Weekly

May 4, 2022

It’s 2047, and a third world war and climate change have left billions dead. A new global government has created a set of emergency laws to facilitate humanity’s survival. Allen “Mercy” Quincy enforces new environmental standards. But Allen isn’t without his demons, not the least of which is the unknown location of his two sons. He suffers from PTSD and journals as a process of “mnemectomy”—attempting to degrade unwanted memories by placing them outside of himself. But memory is a difficult thing to escape, and when Allen’s selfish, self­destructive brother Leo reappears, begging him to travel north to their family’s cabin on Vancouver Island, Allen is besieged by the past. The book, presented as a pair of journals uncovered in 2072, is part cautionary tale, part survival narrative. Each journal has its own feel: the first details Allen’s day­to­day life and his brief affair with a dancer; the second is more introspective, with days and weeks bleeding together as Allen and Leo confront one another. Casper (The Reconstruction) employs clear, concise prose that at a steady clip, and the exploration, through one man’s account, of what it means to outlive one’s purpose is tightly constructed if not especially groundbreaking.